As throughout the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused major disruptions in both the private and public sectors of the Dominican Republic. A curfew is in place while only the most essential providers are still working. All schools are closed and are not scheduled to reopen at the earliest in May 2020.
Therefore, we had both to halt the construction of the new school we are building in the rural village of Los Maranitos, and to keep on hold the training of new teachers. We will continue as soon as the government lifts the restrictions and hope to be on track to open the school in August.
The pandemic demonstrate that new schools are needed more than ever: In the Dominican Republic tourism is the single biggest revenue earner accounting for about 20% of GDP. As the industry is at a standstill, the effects are devastating.
Most Dominicans are directly or indirectly involved in tourism and, in addition, largely living from hand to mouth, the subsequent suffering is catastrophic. Therefore it is vital that more children get access to quality educated in order to diversify the economy into sustainable sectors.